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television -> Mad Men 710 recap/ review

Mad Men 710 recap/ review

The Forecast

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“Mad Men” recaps contain “Mad Men” spoilers.

The opening scenes jump back and forth between Don and Joan, the latter of which didn’t appear in last week’s episode. “The Forecast” opens on a hand turning a key in a lock. The hand belongs to a woman who lets herself into Don’s empty apartment.  The living room furniture consists of the patio furniture. She wakes a sleeping Don Draper to tell him that potential buyers are coming before he leaves for work. He moves the furniture back outside as she rushes him out the door and complains about the difficulty in selling his apartment. We transition to another sleeping character waking when a phone call disturbs Joan’s slumber. Her mother calls so that Joan can speak with her son, Kevin, across the country in New York City as we find out that Joan’s in LA on business. Back in NYC, Don arrives at the office and meets up with Roger. Violating the agreement set after the controversy in the sixth season finale, Don walks in with a beer. “You know, I could have you killed for drinking anything but a Coke around here,” Roger says. Before heading for the Bahamas, Roger pawns a task to write a statement for McCann off on Don. We skip back to LA where Joan enters the LA branch office and sets up a timetable with Lou Avery, Don’s old “friend.” There’s a reason they shipped Lou off to LA.  

Jumping right back to the NY office, Peggy interrupts a shaving Don as his secretary, Meredith, repeats what he dictated before the scene opened. She needs Don’s official approval for a cookie ad campaign with Peter Pan. The camera stays with Don and Peggy as they enter the meeting where Pete, Mathis, and Ed wait. Don swoops in to improve the presentation, settling a creative disagreement between Mathis and Ed. Back in LA, the receptionist tells Joan that Lou is running late because he has a meeting with Hanna Barbera.  A man (Bruce Greenwood) knocks on the door and Joan asks if he’s the client, McLeod, with whom she and Lou have a meeting. He answers in the affirmative and Joan introduces herself. Lou and the real McLeod enter, giving away the stranger who just introduced himself as “McLeod.” Lou and McLeod pass by as the stranger, lost en route to the optometrist, asks Joan out to dinner with him.

Don

Betty and Sally sit, signing traveller’s checks for Sally’s upcoming road trip—“12 states in 12 days.”  They share a mother/ daughter moment when Betty relates her trips as a younger woman to Sally’s trip: getting into trouble, staying up late, boys, etc. Sally can’t take Betty’s words seriously. “This conversation’s a little late, and so am I.” Back at his apartment, Don runs into his realtor after another unsuccessful day. They can’t agree on the apartment’s empty aesthetic with the realtor complaining and Don thinking the imagination can fill it in. She tells Don, “It looks like a sad person lives here.” She excuses herself as Don expresses “a good feeling about things.”  We then catch up with a post-coital Joan and her stranger.  Despite her flight, Richard wants her to stay on the West coast. We find out that Richard is also divorced, but unlike Joan, all of his children are grown.  He doesn’t have the same restrictions as she. 

At the NY office, Meredith tells Don that she already avoided Roger once for Don. Ted walks in across the hall and greets Don. Don and Ted talk about the future. Ted reveals that Roger tried to pawn his project off on him first before suggesting Don would speak better about the future of the company. Ted expresses he wants to land a company in pharmaceuticals or oil and Don can’t believe that’s Ted’s biggest dream. The surprising success of the company dawns on them as they can’t imagine they’ve made it this far, meaning countless future opportunities. The next scene finds Joan in New York when her new love interest calls and tells her that he’s now in town and wants to go to dinner. While minding his business at the vending machine, Don meets Pete and Peggy. Pete wants blood after Mathis and Ed shared an in-fight during the cookie meeting. Peggy says that Pete can’t fire her guys, but Pete quickly reminds Peggy that he can fire her. This exchange ends with Peggy and Pete agreeing new work would be best for everybody.

The Forecast

Sally greets a visitor, her old friend Glen from the old neighborhood, at home. Glen’s certainly grown up since we last saw him and his girlfriend, Paula, excuses herself to visit the bathroom.  Betty enters, completely unrecognizing Glen from almost a decade ago.  Uncomfortable sexual tension enters the scene as Betty and Glen get weird, exchanging glances not lost on Sally, who just wants to go to Playland with an old friend. Do you think he still has Betty’s lock of hair? They head out before Glen declares he needs to give Betty a formal goodbye because he’s enlisted in the military and headed for war on the Vietnamese front. Sally erupts with anger, upset that Glen signed up for a war he used to condemn. Betty calls Sally “Jane Fonda” before complementing Glen’s bravery for going to war. Sally declines going to Playland, telling Glen that he’ll kill people his own age over there.  Betty takes Glen’s hand and tells him that she and even Sally will greet him when he comes back home. 

We check back with Don, figuring out his speech when Mathis interrupts with a bottle of whiskey to thank his boss for seemingly sticking up for him. Mathis invites Don to the cookie meeting in order to smooth things over after the last one.  Don, however, tells Mathis that he’ll have to fix this himself and gives him a few pointers/ methods to hopefully get past it for the upcoming meeting. As Richard and Joan eat across the city, he complains about hippies in relation to his golf course. Joan tells him that she has a four-year-old boy when he asks if she’s married. Back at home, Sally tearfully regrets her earlier words for Glen and calls his mother to try and make contact with Glen before he leaves to join up with the military. As Joan tries to leave Richard’s hotel, he asks if she can stay later in the night. She calls her babysitter and manages to stay until midnight, but that isn’t good enough for her new friend. Richard yells at Joan when he doesn’t get his way, prompting her to politely exit the room.

Sally, Don

Peggy enters Don’s office and demands he review her work performance as Ted just wants her to review herself. He asks what she thinks of the future and what she wants from her job. After Peggy finally expresses herself, Don scoffs at Peggy wanting to create something with “lasting value.” She angrily exits, obviously and justifiably.  At Joan’s place, her babysitter arrives late which causes Joan to lash out and scream at everybody. “You are ruining my life!” Joan shouts at her babysitter (but perhaps meant her son, who also sits in the room).  As she storms away, her son calls out to her. “Bye-bye.” Back at the office, Mathis blows his second chance in the cookie meeting when he quotes Don’s advice verbatim. It appears the people at Peter Pan peanut butter weren’t as…colloquial/ crude as Lee Garner Jr and Lucky Strikes were for Don Draper. Peggy’s jaw drops and the PP reps look at Pete with disgust.

As Don and Meredith brainstorm, Mathis interrupts to lash out at Don for giving him advice that didn’t work out well. He then suggests Don got away with his own bad advice in the past because Roger said Lee Garner Jr was attracted to Don, thinking impure thoughts. Don tells Mathis that everybody has problems, except that people are divided on acting on those problems. Draper then suggests Mathis look at himself for an example because his new problem is finding a new job. “I guess I kinda assumed that when I walked in here. I just knew I shouldn’t apologize.” Mathis leaves with heavy words lingering in Don’s office. Richard then surprises Joan at the office, apologizing with flowers. She lays on some thick sarcasm, saying she’s sent her son away because Richard was making her pick between himself and her son. He cops to his wrongness, saying he’s buying up property in the city and wants to be in her life, and Kevin’s.  She agrees to let him call her.

Glen, Betty

Glen returns to the house when Sally isn’t there. Betty invites him and they stand talking in the kitchen.  They talk about Glen leaving and how Betty is the only female in his life not upset at him for leaving. He pulls her close to him for a kiss, but Betty turns a cheek to Glen because she’s married to Henry. Glen confesses that he expected a fling with Betty to be the best aspect of going to war. She says she couldn’t live with herself if he went to war just for her, but Glen admits that he really flunked out of college and faced his stepfather kicking him to the curb until he enlisted. Before he leaves, Betty tells him that she believes he’ll come back home. After this bizarre collision of worlds, we jump over to Don eating dinner with Sally and her friends before the trip Sally and Betty discussed earlier. As Sally’s friends talk about their respective futures (Don keeps bringing this motif up), one particular friend of hers begins hitting on Don: complementing television ads, his penthouse apartment, and leaning to let Don light her smoke. Sally just needs to escape her flirtatious parents. Sally can’t wait to get on the bus and away from Don, but her father thinks she’s nervous.  However, she’s upset that her parents can’t seem to control themselves—even with her 17-year-old friend. Sally states that Don and Betty “ooze everywhere” given a dose of attention or adoration. Don simply explains that he didn’t want to embarrass Sally’s friend.  Sally retorts by saying her dream for the future is to board a bus and turn out differently from her parents. He grabs his daughter’s arm and says that she’ll end up like her parents, like it or not, and that it’s up to her to be more than just beautiful. Sally can’t disagree and boards the bus as Don waves farewell.

At Betty’s home, Gene and Bobby tear through the house, playing with a toy gun. She lets Bobby watch “The Brady Bunch,but not before she throws the toy in the trash so as not to encourage her own boys to gravitate toward the same fate as Glen. The boys’ father arrives in his apartment over in NYC where strangers stand inside.  His realtor surprises him and it seems his feeling was accurate.  She sold the house at asking price and got 30-day escrow. She leads Don outside the apartment and closes the door.  The closing shot centers Don in the frame, panning out down the hallway in front of his apartment.  The past closed a door behind him to leave nothing except a wide, open future before him—the 1970s.  We still haven’t seen Ken Cosgrove since his big reveal, and Harry and Megan didn’t appear this week either after their unfortunate encounter last week that never played out fully. What was the titular forecast? A one-hundred percent chance of the future. 

Keywords: Mad Men, The Forecast, recap, review, AMC, Don Draper, Joan Harris, Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks
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